should random drug testing in businesses be legal








Should Random Drug Testing
In Business Companies Be Legal?

In the 1970s drug screening was used by the United States Military to try and control the rampant drug abuse of US soldiers while they were in Vietnam. During the Bush administration, drug testing became common Federal Government employees, as the government sought to further publicly demonize all drugs (excluding nicotine and alcohol). Since then, drug testing has become a common practice among both public and private sector employers. Though some argue that drug testing is necessary in order to increase worker productiveness and contributes to a drug free workplace, employers should rethink the effectiveness of drug tests. At this point there is no conclusive proof that drug tests are successful in everything that its supporters say they are. Supporters of drug testing argue that drug testing has positive effects on an organization. Drug testing creates a safer work environment and results in fewer accidents. Absenteeism is thought to be less common in organizations that have a drug testing policy. Furthermore, supporters claim that drug users cost companies millions of dollars each year. They further feel that drug testing deters the use of drugs amongst employees. Finally, they argue that drug testing is an economical means to decrease worker’s compensation claims. Despite these claims studies have yet to show that drug testing results in all previously stated. Companies conducting drug tests on its employees directly infringes upon the constitutional rights of a person and only serves to solve a company problem, it does little, if nothing, to help the employee’s drug addiction.
Drug testing in the workplace is not a viable means of fingering people for drug testing. Rather, it is a procedure riddled with problems. According to the ACLU, drug testing has never been proven to decrease accidents within the work place. Based upon studies by the Center for Disease Control, urinalysis, the most common type of drug testing, is plagued with inaccurate results. Labs have detected cocaine in 6 percent of urine samples and as much as 37 percent of samples have tested positive for amphetamines, when in reality these samples were clean. According to the New England Law Review, various over the counter drugs may give false readings. David B Kopel writes in his article “Drug Testing: Shaky Science May Nullify Good Intentions,” that Ibuprofin present in any drug store medicine can test positive for marijuana. Advil or Midol may test the same way. Dristan, Vicks Nasal Spray and other nasal sprays can test positive for amphetamines. Some antibiotics may turn up as cocaine when being tested (Drug testing:Shaky…3). Also, poppy seeds have often shown up as heroin on drug tests. Even natural enzymes present in the body can test positive for traces of marijuana. Why don’t companies switch to a more accurate form of testing, one that is less open to specimen contamination? A higher tech method would cost more money.
Drug testing can be a humiliating experience, as employees are made to feel like criminals. The individual is closely watched as they urinate into a cup. The restroom has no running water and the toilet is filled with a type of treated water. This is all done so the individual is unable to cheat their way through the test. At the same time that these companies are ensuring truthfulness they are demoralizing and degrading their employees. A woman who wrote the ACLU said that she “was led into a very small room with a toilet, sink, and desk… given a container in which to urinate in by an attendant…. who bent down to watch…. Nothing I have ever done equals or deserves the humiliation, degradation, and mortification I felt” (Drug Testing: A Bad Investment:18).
Timing is a major factor in drug tests. An employee walks into work one morning having just snorted a few lines of cocaine in his car. An hour after he arrives he is subjected to a random drug test. However, the test does not show up for positive for high amounts of cocaine because the body has yet to metabolize the cocaine and introduce it to his urine. Another person drinks about half a bottle of rum on Sunday